Author George Orwell is one of those writers the left loves to claim as one of their own. And while it’s true that Orwell did identify as a socialist for at least part of his life, the message of his writings could not contradict modern leftism more.
Most Americans are introduced to Orwell in high school, usually through the novels 1984 and Animal Farm. And while these works are certainly essential literature, the underpinning message is often glossed over. The novels don’t just take issue with overt authoritarianism. They attack the self-censorship individuals impose upon themselves out of fear of the collective.
1984 portrays a world where, while the state may be all powerful, it isn’t always needed to enforce its rigid rules. The people who live under Big Brother’s yoke will happily police themselves. Pictures were repainted. Books were re-written. Dissenters were bullied into total silence and obedience. Does that sound familiar?
Of course, we’ve learned a lot since 1984‘s release. Apparently, a militant fascist government isn’t necessary to stifle free speech and expression. When a collectivist mob mentality infects a culture, it’s already too late.
Here’s the DC Shorts with more on one of the most important thinkers of the 21st century.